Is­lands panic over mis­taken mis­sile text

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Nation + World -

HONOLULU » A false alarm that warned of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile headed for Hawaii sent the is­lands into a panic Satur­day, with peo­ple aban­don­ing cars in a high­way and prepar­ing to flee their homes un­til of­fi­cials said the cell­phone alert was a mis­take.

It wasn’t clear ex­actly what hap­pened — House Speaker Scott Saiki said some­one pushed the wrong but­ton, and the White House said the episode was “purely a state ex­er­cise.”

But for nearly 40 min­utes, it seemed like the world was about to end in Hawaii, an is­land par­adise al­ready jit­tery over the threat of nu­clear-tipped mis­siles from North Korea.

The emer­gency alert, which was sent to cell­phones statewide just be­fore 8:10 a.m., said: “BAL­LIS­TIC MIS­SILE THREAT IN­BOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IM­ME­DI­ATE SHEL­TER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

On the H-3, a ma­jor high­way north of Honolulu, ve­hi­cles sat empty af­ter driv­ers ran to a nearby tun­nel.

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